Singer Waje gave an interview recently and talked about he life, her love for God and family as well as her work with charity.
How would you describe your journey in the Nigerian Music Industry and what are some of the challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The journey has been rough, I must say, though it has been one of those experiences that certify that God is with you and carrying you through the tough times. Along the way challenges can be found in every corner (being a woman in the industry was always a big one) and having to fight for the opportunity to be seen or heard so that you can prove your worth… and not always getting that chance in the end, are just some of the issues.
At what point in your life did you decide that you wanted a career in the arts?
I started singing from childhood you know and, gradually, music started becoming more than just something I did in the shower. It started to seem more like something that would define me eventually. When I became a teenager, I started to embrace the drive for a career in the arts. By the time I was 18, I was certain I was going to keep singing on and on.
What are your thoughts on the Rn’B/Afro-soul genre in Nigeria?
Afro-soul, for one, is a genre that now has its own fan base. Obviously, it has come a long way, especially in these parts where we like groovy jams and beats to shake to and all that. The present rating of the RnB genre in Nigeria deserves a thumb-up. If you tune into a radio station, sometimes, you get to listen to songs which make you proud to be Nigerian.
You are known for your ‘electrifying’ performances on stage. Do you have any special routine you go through before you get on stage?
I’ll say my prayers first, then just get into the moment. I suck in all my stage chakra, hold in all the energy and just let it all out when I get on stage [hearty laughter].
How did you feel when your album Words Aren’t Just Enough was nominated for the World Best Music (in Africa) Album of the Year category?
Oh, I felt much appreciated. I swear, it was cool. It was like being told; ‘we see you, we hear you’, and you present some real good stuff. That’s what the nomination feels like. I was thrilled naturally, but then it gave me this drive to up my game and put in 150 per cent in forthcoming projects.
Your song Omini Knowest remains a personal favourite of many music lovers. Tell me, what were the thoughts going through your head when you wrote the song?
[Laughs]It is all these I-too-know-people and haters, the amebo society people. I just felt like addressing the issue of non-stop chatter by people who are judgemental and far too opinionated when they should be focusing on their own lives and achieving their goals. But again part of it na just normal yarns.
What are your thoughts on the state of the Nigerian music industry and what do you think should be done to better improve the industry?
The industry, as you call it, is presently in a progressive state. If you had looked at it five years back and compare it to the present, you’ll see some undeniable improvement. Also, as far as what should be done to improve it beyond its present state, I think the industry as a whole needs to broaden its horizons. It should tap into more concepts, methods and ideas of doing everything music-related, whether its production, performing, recording, organising concerts, writing lyrics sef…everything in fact.
You describe your NGO Waje Safe House as a safe place for those rejected by society. What led to your establishment of the NGO?
You’ve just said part of it; it is about those who have been rejected by society. I started coming face-to-face with too many cases of rejection of kids, widows, nursing mothers and many others and, so, I felt the need to make my own contribution to giving them a better deal. We can all bring about some positive change in the world by doing even the least notable things. God has blessed me and I feel that I must pass on my blessings.
How do you spend your free time and what are those simple pleasures you enjoy?
I like to chill out oh. I consider some ‘home time’ very precious. This is a time I sit at home and just watch movies. I love to read too, just kick-back and flip through pages. Sometimes, too, I like to relax and listen to instrumentals; it puts me in a zone, a very relaxing zone.
What is your ultimate goal as an artiste?
Besides being the Number1? Well, there’s also the goal to remain original forever and ever.
Who is that person you’ll do almost anything for?